Definition of eukaryote in English:


(also eucaryote)


  • An organism consisting of a cell or cells in which the genetic material is DNA in the form of chromosomes contained within a distinct nucleus. Eukaryotes include all living organisms other than the eubacteria and archaea.

    Compare with prokaryote
    • ‘Complete eukaryote chromosomes were investigated for intrachromosomal duplications of constitute a major part of the genome.’
    • ‘These proteins are expressed by all organisms ranging from prokaryotes to higher eukaryotes, including human cells.’
    • ‘The condensin complex plays an essential role in chromosome condensation in all eukaryotes studied so far.’
    • ‘The bouquet structure of chromosomes is usually a transitory prophase stage in other eukaryotes.’
    • ‘The condensin complex is essential for chromosome condensation in higher eukaryotes.’


1960s: from eu- ‘easily (formed)’ + karyo- ‘kernel’ + -ote as in zygote.